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Flightless Steamer Duck

Flightless Steamer Duck
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-12-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Exposure: f/3.2, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Anatidae photos -2-, The Wildlife, Plants and Scenery of Chile [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-10-08 10:57
Viewed: 7358
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Again - handheld from a boat - 300mm 2.8 + 1.4x converter.

The Fuegian Steamer Duck (Tachyeres pteneres), also called the Magellanic Flightless Steamer Duck, is a flightless duck from South America. It belongs to the steamer duck genus Tachyeres. It is a massively built "duck" at 3.5-7 kg (7.7-15.5 lbs) and 65-78 cm (22-31 in), with the males larger than the females.

This species is locally infamous for the aggressive disposition of adult males. Incidents have allegedly occurred where a raging male was placed by a misguided collector among adults of various other waterfowl species and killed all the other birds with their powerful, spurred wings.

Tachyeres (Steamer Ducks is a genus of ducks in the bird family Anatidae. All of the four species occur in South America, and all except T. patachonicus are flightless; even this one species capable of flight rarely takes to the air.

They are usually placed in the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae. However, mtDNA sequence analyses of the cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 genes ( indicate that Tachyeres rather belongs into a distinct clade of aberrant South American dabbling ducks, which also includes the Brazilian, the Crested, and the Bronze-winged Ducks.

There are four species:

Flying Steamer Duck Tachyeres patachonicus

Magellanic Flightless Steamer Duck Tachyeres pteneres

White-headed Flightless Steamer Duck Tachyeres leucocephalus

Falkland Flightless Steamer Duck Tachyeres brachypterus

The White-headed Flightless Steamer Duck was only described in 1981.

siggi, nglen, roges, boreocypriensis, CeltickRanger, ferranjlloret, Adanac, nasokoun, sandpiper2, matatur, horia has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-10-08 11:04]

Hello James,
A very nice portrait on this Fuegian Steamer Duck. The light was very nice here. Beautiful subtle colors, and the detail is very sharp. The backround really makes a nice contrast for the duck to stand out well.
Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-10-08 11:13]

Hello James,
Beautiful photo of this Steamer Duck in beautiful colours and excellent sharpness and details. Great environment. Good POV, composition and DOF.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-10-08 11:29]

Hi James. Thanks for posting this Flightless Steamer Duck as its a new one on me. This one looks quite happy just sat their . You have been able to get good detail in the feathers with natural colours. Well taken from the boat . TFS.

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-10-08 11:50]

Hi James,

Again a splendid catch. Also I have never seen a species of duck. Exceptional color with a top player!
My congratulations.
Greetings from Germany,

freat streamer duck, TFS Ori

Hi Bro James,

hahaha:)) what a lovely faced duck which is novelty for me.
Perfectly composed and focussed...
TFS and have a nice night!


  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2009-10-08 13:13]

Hi James,
A happy duck ...
Depth of field success.A different light and details are excellent.
best wishes,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-10-08 14:32]

Hi James,i like a lot the curious position of this strange duck,a pic very very great,whit a perfect sharpness and colors in a beautiful composition too,my best compliments,have a nice day,Luciano

hello James

an excellent and very beautiful photo of this beautiful Duck,
shot with very fine POV, DOF and framing, i love that for the
framing you leaved a very good space in front of the Duck,
superb focus great sharpness and details, TFS


Hola James,
Una especie muy interesante que tuve la suerte de poder ver en el mismo sitio que tu, Muy buena captura.

Hi James
what a lovely capture for beautiful duck species. it is new to me. great focus and POV. colors and composition also very nice. good informative notes as always. TFS
best wishes

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2009-10-08 18:57]

Hello James,
Fantastic image of a species I am unfamiliar with, so thank you for that. The image is splendid with all aspects being excellent.

hello James
very beautiful setting and moment, her expression are blissful good, natural colours and the good details are attributed very well, beautiful duck very beautiful photo!
TFS thanks for sharing

What an amazing shot, James! I love the beautiful sharp, details and the depth you've achieved!

Hi James

Good portrait of this impressive steamer duck. Well captured considering your situation, doesn't look very dangerous here, but I've heard they have anasty temper. Good composition and sharpness.


A very succesful capture indeed James, handheld with a long lens, amazing! Perfect DOF and very good colour definition. I heartily congratulate you my friend.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2009-10-09 13:57]

Hi James

Another very good and interesting post from you, my friend!
This is a species i didn't know anything of and it was very interesting reading about it in your note - especially the part about the aggression...very interesting facts.
The photos itself is good, too and shows this bird very well integrated in its natural habitat.
Your skill with this long lens + TC and shooting from a boat is really terrific and gets you so in and close to all these great animals...thanks so much for sharing all that with us :)

Cheers and have a great weekend!

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